Drow Shadowblades are the protectors and dirty workers of the Underdark. If you could go further into the shadows than the Underdark, that’s the realm of the Shadowblades.
They protect the Underdark from foes and settle the disputes of the nobles of their land with the blood they so deeply desire.
Medium humanoid (elf), Neutral evil
Armour Class: 17 (studded leather)
Hit Points: 150 (20d8 + 60)
Speed: 30 ft.
Strength: 14 (+2)
Dexterity: 21 (+5)
Constitution: 16 (+3)
Intelligence: 12 (+1)
Wisdom: 14 (+2)
Charisma: 13 (+1)
Skills: Perception +6, Stealth +9
Condition Immunities: None
Senses: Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 16
Languages: Elvish, Undercommon
Challenge: 11 (7,200 XP)
Fey Ancestry. The drow has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put the drow to sleep.
Innate Spellcasting. The drow’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13). He can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: dancing lights
1/day each: darkness, faerie fire, levitate (self only)
Shadow Step. While in dim light or darkness, the drow can teleport as a bonus action up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space it can see that is also in dim light or darkness.
It then has advantage on the first melee attack it makes before the end of the turn.
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the drow has disadvantage on attack rolls as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Multiattack. The drow makes two attacks with its shadow sword. If either attack hits and the target is within 10 feet of a 5-foot cube of darkness created by the shadow sword on a previous turn, the drow can dismiss that darkness and cause the target to take 21 (6d6) necrotic damage.
The drow can dismiss darkness in this way no more than once per turn.
Shadow Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6 + 5) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage and 10 (3d6) poison damage.
The drow can then fill an unoccupied 5-foot cube within 5 feet of the target with magical darkness, which remains for 1 minute.
Hand Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6 + 5) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour.
If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the target is also unconscious while poisoned in this way. The target regains consciousness if it takes damage or if another creature takes an action to shake it.
Summon Shadow Demon (1/Day). The drow attempts to magically summon a shadow demon with a 50% chance of success. If the attempt fails, the drow takes 5 (1d10) psychic damage.
Otherwise, the summoned demon appears in an unoccupied space within 60 feet of its summoner, acts as an ally of its summoner, and can’t summon other demons. It remains for 10 minutes, until it or its summoner dies or until its summoner dismisses it as an action.
What Is a Drow Shadowblade?
The Drow Shadowblades are ruthless killers that can be found pretty much everywhere in the Underdark. They perform basically all of the “dirty” jobs in the Underdark, from guards to assassins.
Players can come across a broad spectrum of Underdark residents while adventuring. However, none are quite so “outgoing” as the Drow Shadowblade.
These Underdark sellswords act as political “mediators” and a sort of “welcoming committee” for the rest of the Underdark’s residents.
The Drow Shadowblades can be found using their sword skills to protect cities, guard for nobles, kill for nobles, kill nobles, and hunt down thieves who steal from the Underdark.
They harness dark magic obtained through a shadowy ritual to fall their foes.
Drow Shadowblades can command the power of the shadows to their wills.
Their Shadow Swords can deal massive damage and create blocks of magical darkness when they strike enemies. They use these swords to protect, assassinate, and, most importantly, slay.
To access the Shadow Sword, Shadowblades must undergo a ritual where they summon a lesser demon and then kill it.
Once they’ve killed the demon, they must use mystical arts to prevent the demon from reforming in the Abyss, in turn, creating a Shadow Demon, which blesses the Shadowblade with their shadow manipulation abilities.
Some Shadowblades also harness the mystical art of summoning. These Shadowblades can summon a Shadow Demon into their service for a few minutes to aid them in their often nefarious tasks.
While their summoning abilities are not as powerful as that of a mage, the assistance is not something that players should overlook.
A Player’s Guide To Hunting Drow Shadowblades
Drow Shadowblades are formidable foes that players shouldn’t be too careless when fighting. They have an immensely high damage-per-round output at 57 DPR.
Since they’re a relatively high challenge rating, they also sport high to-hit modifiers, which means they’re highly dangerous, even to players with high AC scores.
Be very aware of where you’re standing about the Drow Shadowblade.
Melee DPS characters will want to be very careful of the Drow Shadowblade’s Shadow Sword. This sword deals with immense damage and can be lethal to characters with low defensive thresholds.
Another thing to be careful of is the summoner variant of the Drow Shadowblades. These can instantly turn the tides of battle by adding an ally to their side.
While the Shadow Demon probably hates the f*ck out of the Drow Shadowblade, it also probably hates you even more, and the enemy of its enemy is its friend.
Additionally, the Drow Shadowblade can teleport from shadow to shadow. Since they’re usually skulking around in the passageways of the Underdark, there will be plenty of shadows for them to teleport between.
This high damage output combined with extremely high mobility is only further compounded because Drow Shadowblades carry hand crossbows that they can use to engage in ranged combat or ambush.
Sunlight Sensitivity can be utilized to draw the Shadowblade out into the regular parts of the world. Still, it’s not like they’re unaware of their sensitivity, so they’ll do their best to avoid following you if it would mean going into the sunlight.
A Dungeon Master’s Guide to Drow Shadowblades
If you need to have some Drow Shadowblades running around, it’s good to know how to bring them to life in a believable way.
Roleplay is the cornerstone of a good story within Dungeons & Dragons, and it’s essential to be able to slide yourself into character.
The first key to remember about Drow Shadowblades is that they are ruthless. They do not follow the same weakling moral code standard throughout the rest of the Forgotten Realms.
They don’t worry about whether or not their target deserves their fate, can fight back, or should be spared. They have a mission, and they will carry it out.
Additionally, Drow Shadowblades don’t have much in the way of feelings. The warm-fuzzies aren’t really in their wheelhouse.
While it wouldn’t be impossible to romance a Drow Shadowblade, per se, they’re not going to be the best lovers unless you’re looking for a boyfriend who will kill for you and sleep fine that night.
At the same time, they may experience feelings of anger or sadness.
They’re very bribeable when it comes to making deals with the Drow Shadowblade. As sellswords, they definitely believe that money talks.
Just be aware that if someone offers them a more significant sum of money, they might betray you.
Above all, Drow Shadowblades are loyal to the Underdark itself – not any particular person within it, just the whole Underdark. They’d turn the entire world to ashes to protect their homeland.
Lastly, Drow Shadowblades almost certainly hate the players and won’t be afraid to voice this hatred at all. Drow Shadowblades are not liable to mince words or sugarcoat things.
If they have something to say, they’re just going to say it.
Drow Shadowblades are great options to provide challenging combat scenarios to your players while giving a lot of tools to the Dungeon Master to allow for compelling roleplay and combat.
Whether the players choose to roleplay with or attack the Drow Shadowblade (or the Drow Shadowblade attacks them and they defend themselves,) players and Dungeon Masters alike will be able to enjoy the finer things in gaming when interacting with this monster!